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Workplace Hazards: The Definitive Ranking

Updated: Mar 3

Photography is tough. We here at HPM love to geek out about photos, but we’re not afraid to admit that we have some serious dangers to contend with in the name of quality real-estate photography. This is no cakewalk! Luckily, I’m here to tell you about the trials we go through on a daily basis, and give you the irrefutable ranking of the worst that we have to deal with.


1. Backyard Landmines


Picture this: you’re in the backyard of a house getting ready to hit the market, and you’re framing up the perfect shot to headline the listing. You back up to give yourself a little more space to work with, and you feel an unholy squelch beneath your foot. You look down, and try to convince yourself that what you just stepped in is “just a little mud,” but you know the truth, don’t kid yourself.

I’ve done this at least like 7 times in the past two years, and it’s a low blow every time, especially considering that each time I could have avoided it. I knew there was a dog in the house, I saw the water bowl, the leash hanging by the backdoor, why was I not watching the ground?? Pain.



2. Cats


I know what you’re thinking. Cats? Really? How dangerous can a freaking cat be? It’s simple, very dangerous. They’re merciless. No, cats have never physically hurt me during work, but they have caused me plenty of pain. There’s the warning beforehand, the homeowner tells me they’ll be back in an hour, and that Cheddar the Tabby is loose somewhere in the house, but “he’ll stay out of your way.” Well, I proceed assuming Cheddar is going to stay out of my way, and I’m pleased when there’s no sign of him for the first 30 minutes. Then, all of a sudden, Cheddar gets a backbone, and he decides no, thank you, he won’t be staying out of my way, and goes ahead and jumps in front of every shot. It’s like there’s a magnetic pull directly in front of the lens that begs Cheddar to stand there, and my efforts to make him move only strengthen him. I clap my hands, say “shoo,” stomp my feet like a real tough guy, but Cheddar merely scoffs at my weakness.

Finally, I manage to do a decent job shooting around him, and I’m feeling good about how successful I was at avoiding that cat. Later, I go to edit the photos, and whose face do I see, sneakily looking at me from under the bed, behind the sofa, and off in the corner of half the shots?



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3. Rain


No, it’s ok, it’s not too wet to shoot outside, I like wearing wet jeans.




4. Hardworking Neighbors


When I’m taking photos of a house, it’s difficult, if not impossible to show some of the neighboring property in at least some of the shots. You see it in the corner of exterior pictures, through the windows, and just peeking in on the side of many shots. Now, normally this isn’t a big deal, unless Mr. Eager Beaver neighbor is out grinding in the yard, then you get a whole lot of this dude in the frame.



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Anything is on the table for dealing with this. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve coordinated which room I’m shooting with where the next door lawn pro is in the yard! No chance we’re letting that stop us.



Lots of good problems to have, and nothing we can't handle! We're pros, and this is the kind of thing we're built for. 💪




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